Articles from June 2022



Mid-June, 2022 News & Update

It’s been a while since we’ve communicated with our members and friends but rest assured we’ve been busy fighting to keep tenants in their homes and working on improving the laws and regulations governing housing law in Westchester and throughout New York State.

New York State Legislative Session

The New York State Legislature ended this year’s session on Friday June 3rd.  The two (2) main issues we were working on in coalition with other groups both failed to pass this year:

1) Good Cause Eviction
2) Right to Counsel

While this failure is hurtful for tenants, great strides were made nonetheless and we’re quite hopeful going into next year.  Despite not getting our main bills passed, we did see both the State Assembly and Senate pass the Tenant Dignity and Safe Housing Act (A00354B/S04594B.)  We’re currently pushing Governor Hochul to sign the bill into law.

We’re enclosing a copy (2-sided) of a statement from the Right to Counsel NYC Coalition regarding the legislative session.  MVUT will continue educating  and organizing our members, especially in reference to Right to Counsel!

Tenant Rights

We are in the process of scheduling two (2) “Tenants Rights’ Workshops” in Mt. Vernon – one (1) in English and one (1) in Spanish.  We should have a flyer in the next mailing.  On Thursday June 16, Dennis will be making a presentation on “Tenants’ Rights” at Hope Community Center in New Rochelle (see flyer on reverse side of WRGB notice.)

Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP )

Our ERAP   processing continues at full speed. Our expert on the subject, Andrew Aguilar, has completed over two hundred and fifty (250+) ERAP applications.  We’ve referred over three hundred (300+) tenants to the ERAP site for specific assistance.  The great, great majority of the tenants we’ve assisted have been able to remain in their apartments!  Yessss!!!

Westchester Rent Guidelines Board (WRGB)

By the time you receive this, the first two (2) WRGB Public Hearings will most likely have concluded.  The third and final Public Hearing is scheduled for Mt. Vernon City Hall on Tuesday, June 21, at 7:30pm.  We’re enclosing a notice for that Public Hearing and two (2) subsequent meetings (Presentation and Rebuttal and Vote meetings) both at 7:00pm in New Rochelle City Hall.

Please try to come to the Mt. Vernon Public Hearing and let the WRGB know that tenants cannot afford any rent increases at this time.  If anything, tenants deserve a rollback!  Tell your neighbors to come as well!

$ for MVUT

We’re enclosing a fund-raising piece describing MVUT’s programs and a self-addressed envelope.  Please make as large a donation as possible to guarantee that MVUT can continue to fight for you and all tenants!

____Yes, you have my support.  Enclosed find my donation of

_____$25     ____$50      ____$100       _____$200       _____$250       _____other

Name: ___________________________________________________________

Address: __________________________________________________________

Telephone/Email: ___________________________________________________

Mailing Attachments:

Attachment #1 – Housing Rights Workshop, WRGB, Right to Counsel Campaign (PDF)

Attachment #2  – Support MVUT (PDF)

 

$$ for MVUT — Please Support Our Vital Work in 2022!!

Mt. Vernon United Tenants, lnc..
Mail: P. O, Box 2107, Mt. Vemon, N. Y. 10551
Office: 2 Gramatan Avenue – Suite 304 – Mt. Vemon, N. Y. 10551
Phone (914) 699-1114 ~ Fax (914) 699-7449
Email: mvut@erols.com-Website: www.mvut.org


$
FOR M.V.U.T

THE HOT DAYS OF SUMMER ARE HERE AND THE PANDEMIC
WE’VE
ALL BEEN LIVING THROUGH IS SEEMINGLY
COMING TO AN END – HOORAY!
STILL —
BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!

 

MVUT has been busy delivering for you and all tenants:

ERAP – MVUT  is assisting tenants in filing applications for rent arrears under the Emergency Rental Assistance Program if they’ve either lost income or had additional expenses as a result of Covid-19. Weve processed over fifty (50+) applications, uploaded documents for dozens of others, and referred over one hundred (100+) to the ERAP website – nysrenthelp@otda.ny.gov or telephone 1-844-691-7368

CODE ENFORCEMENT–  MVUT has always pushed the City of Mt. Vernon to strengthen its code enforcement process to protect tenants’ apartments. Our. advocacy has borne fruit as the City has hired three (3) more code enforcement inspectors, and will be hiring two (2) more! YES!!

HISPANIC OUTREACH – Through a grant with the City, we’ve been able to hire a Spanish-speaking tenant organizer, Andrew Aguilar, to help MVUT provide its services to the Spanish-speaking tenants who have been regularly abused by the system!

WESTCHESTER RENT GUIDELINES BOARD (WRGB) – The WRGB passed new rent adjustments for leases beginning between 10/1/21- 09/30/22. They are .5% for one (1) year renewals, and one 1% for two (2) year renewals. Thanks to WRGB Tenant Member and MVUT member Tamara Stewart for her strong advocacy on the Board and to the many MVUT members who testified at the Public Hearings!

SCRIE/DRIE – MVUT continues to help tenants who live in rent-regulated buildings to apply for both the Senior and Disabled Rent Increase Exemption Programs whereby their rents can be frozen.

BUILDING ORGANIZING  – With the pandemic starting to wane, more buildings are willing to have meetings and address their issues. MVUT has recently been meeting with tenant associations in Mt. Vernon and Yonkers INDIVIDUAL COUNSELINGIADVOCACY –MVUT continues to provide intensive case management for tenants facing eviction, trying to restore services, fighting rent increases/overcharges and other landlord harassment. We assist dozens weekly.

POLICY ADVOCACY – In addition to the above items, MVUT has played a leading or supporting roll in many coalition efforts on housing and economic justice issues, e.g. the Westchester “Right to Counsel” Coalition; the campaign for non-discrimination protection in renting, regarding Source Of Income(Sol); the statewide Housing Justice for All (HJ4A)Coalition; the Westchester Eviction Prevention Network (WEPN);etc.

Support MVUT!!!  Yes, I agree MVUT is doing great work for tenants.  I want to help them do even more! Enclosed find my contribution of:

_____$25     ____$50      ____$100       _____$200       _____$250       _____other

Name: ___________________________________________________________

 

Address: __________________________________________________________

 

Telephone/Email: __________________________________________________________

 

Please make checks payable to MVUT and mail to MVUT at:

P.O. Box 2107, Mt. Vernon, NY 10551
or bring to the office at 2 Gramatan Ave. Suite 304.

Thank you!